Dead-End Drive-In is directed by Brian Trenchard- Smith (BMX Bandits, Night of the Demons 2), a key figure in the Ozploitation movement and set in Australia in a dystopian future.
Following a nuclear incident and a riot killing thousands of people, the government of Australia have invoked emergency powers. The world is now a more dangerous place, with marauding bands of “Car-boys” terrorising the populace.
Jimmy (Ned Manning – Looking for Alibrandi, The Shiralee) is a mini van driver who lives with his mother and brother Frank (Ollie Hall – Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome). He aspires to be more like Frank, who is a tow truck driver and spends his time cleaning up the spoils of road traffic accidents.
His other great wish is to take out Frank’s beautiful red Chevy in order to impress his girlfriend Carmen (Natalie McCurry – Cassandra, Mushrooms). Of course Frank says no, but they take it anyway and head off the Star Drive-In for a bit of hanky panky and a film.
All seems well at first, despite rumours that Drive-Ins can be dangerous, but halfway through the film, the car gives a lurch and after hastily getting dressed, they soon realise that two of the wheels have been stolen.
The owner Thompson (Peter Whitford – Moulin Rouge) is no help, so they settle down for the night, only to realise in the morning that no-one who was there the previous night has left and in daylight the place looks more like an internment camp than anything else.
The government make sure everyone is supplied with all the beer and drugs they want, a good way to keep them under control. They must now come to terms with fact that they have been herded into a facility, where they are expected to live alongside all the disaffected youth who have been incarcerated along with them.
Dead-End Drive-In is an enjoyable watch, although the sheer quantity of hair spray employed is quite staggering. There are some magnificently eighties styles on display, which does make the bad guys slightly difficult to respect, but nevertheless it’s great fun.
It is a really good story, although it has plot holes you could drive a bus through, and it feels like Mad Max with leg warmers. There is plenty of New Wave music and the whole effect is like someone has managed to bottle the eighties. Very amusing and worth adding to your collection.
“Look, all we’re trying to say is, stop acting like a turd. You’re a member of the white community, you’ve got responsibilities.”
Dead-End Drive-In is available to buy now on DVD and Blu-ray.